I am writing this post through a haze of “morning sickness”. Ha! Morning sickness. It’s 24/7 sickness and I have had it since a couple days before my period was due.
That means, of course, that it worked. Our one stab at IUI with donor sperm worked, and here I sit, headachy, exhausted, nauseated and emotional, and almost 3 months pregnant.
I don’t know what we expected, but my wife was surprised I had “lasted” as long as I had without testing. The problem with a medicated IUI cycle is that you take hCG to induce ovulation, and it will remain in your system for a good while, which means the possibility of false positive pregnancy tests.
But it was funny with the hCG. It affected me very noticeably. I bloated up (and have not yet unbloated), got easily motion sick in the car, was tired all the time and had strange cramps. Then for 3 days during our two-week-wait, I felt fine and normal. And then one day, in the car, I felt sick again. You know how people say they “just knew”? I never thought I would just know, certainly not when I’d never been pregnant before in my life, but there was something about the way my stomach was churning that made me bring it up.
“We should test tomorrow morning,” I tried to sound nonchalant
“Ok, I think we still have some tests in the press.” She sounded calmer than I felt. We’ve been trying for years, so of course we have pregnancy tests stashed everywhere.
“Excellent.” It was a testament to how sure we were that testing was just more disappointment that we both slept soundly that night.
It was positive. I remember sitting on the toilet at 5am — I’m up all hours having to pee, so I had to wake my wife and let her know I was going to test. So I peed on the stick, and suddenly realised the lines were turning dark very quickly, and I needed to get off the loo so my wife could see this.
I ran into the bedroom, waving a stick I’d just peed on in her face. You never think of urine as having a place in your more precious memories, but there it is.
For the next 30 minutes or so, we laughed nervously and just looked at each other. Neither of us had expected this. We were still 3 days away from the blood test at the clinic.
Obviously, we didn’t go shouting this result from the rooftops. By the standard measure, I wasn’t even 4 weeks pregnant. In reality, implantation had probably occured a handful of days before I tested. And from years of trying to conceive, I knew the risks.
The pregnancy could be a “chemical pregnancy” — this is one that starts, but fails to implant correctly, and you have your period on time or maybe a day or two late. So an early positive can just as quickly disappear.
I could miscarry. I still could. But at 11 weeks and counting, the risks have decreased significantly, especially since we saw a good strong heartbeat on the ultrasound at 8 weeks. Our next appointment is the beginning of official antenatal care, and will be at 14 weeks.
So this is an unexpected but incredibly welcome journey we are now on. It was worth the one shot we could afford. I remember saying “What if all it takes is one treatment? What if we never tried and that’s all it would have taken?” We knew we couldn’t afford more than one try, but here we are, pregnant, with €160 left in our fertility treatment fund.
It feels very strange to look at the ultrasound photos of our baby and think that that could be a person someday, because it really sort of looks like a potato right now. But dammit, we already love that potato.